Major Japanese Distributor Signed by Avacta

Date: July 14, 2014

Avacta Group plc, IKC partner and the global provider of proprietary diagnostic tools, consumables and reagents for human and animal healthcare, is pleased to announce that it has appointed Cosmo Bio Co Ltd (Cosmo), one of the leading Japanese life sciences R&D suppliers, as distributor in Japan for Affimers

Cosmo has been selling reagents such as antibodies and enzymes, cell and tissue culture materials, separation and purification systems and protein engineering products in Japan for over 30 years to academic laboratories, research institutes and testing organisations. With a network of around 200 agents throughout Japan and servicing over 400 international manufacturers, Cosmo is one of the largest and most established life sciences reagents and equipment suppliers in Japan.

Affimers are an engineered alternative to antibodies. They have been designed to address many of the negative performance issues currently experienced with antibodies; namely, the time taken to generate new antibodies, specificity and batch to batch variation. Affimers can be engineered to bind with high specificity and affinity to a wide range of protein targets thereby creating a very large menu of affinity reagents to address gaps in the antibody reagents market and compete directly with existing antibody products.

Avacta is now focusing on the commercialisation of Affimers via its custom Affimer services and, later in the year, through an on-line catalogue of reagents. Avacta has secured first sales of Affimers through its services activity in which its extensive library of Affimers is screened to generate binders to new targets provided by the customer. This screening service takes seven weeks from receiving the target to providing the customer with samples of the fully characterised Affimer to be used in the their assay or other process or product. This is in comparison with the many months or even years it can take to generate high quality antibodies to new targets. Avacta is making good progress in populating its Affimer catalogue which will launch in late summer with a range of Affimers against some common targets and also against some high value targets for which antibody companies have failed to generate antibodies.

Cosmo will market and support both the custom Affimer services and the catalogue reagents sales in Japan which is the world’s second largest life sciences market according to UK Trade Investment.

Alastair Smith, Chief Executive of Avacta said: “Japan is an important market for us and Cosmo are an excellent partner who are associated with some well known reagent suppliers. They have an excellent reputation for customer support and a wide network throughout Japan. We expect to begin generating revenues in Japan first through our custom Affimer services and, later in the year through sales of Affimers from our catalogue which Cosmo will market and support.  I look forward to updating the market on this activity and on other partnerships for Affimers in due course.”

Toshiaki Kasamatsu, President of Cosmo said: “We are proud to distribute the custom Affimer services and the catalogue reagents into the Japanese research market. Affimers are a quite unique recombinant protein research tool showing specific binding activity. They also show long stability and reproducibility as an alternate to antibodies, and we hope this technology will be used widely in the life science research field. We have a keen desire to support the development of the life science market, and are proud to introduce the Affimer technology in Japan which provides specific advantages to researchers who pursue new understanding in life sciences. Cosmo Bio is pleased to be the best partner for researchers in this field.”

For further information visit the Avacta news web page

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